January 16, 2009 / 11:50 PM / 11 years ago

Booker T. rocks with Truckers, Neil Young

In this file photo Booker T. Jones plays keyboards during a performance at Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, July 2, 2005. REUTERS/ARC-Jean-Bernard Sieber

SAVANNAH, Georgia (Billboard) - Booker T. Jones’ resume on the renowned Stax/Volt soul labels reads like a field guide to American music. But for his first solo set since the ‘80s, the 64-year-old musician went with a different kind of Southern sound, enlisting Georgia rockers the Drive-By Truckers as his backing band for an album of all-new instrumentals.

“Potato Hole,” due April 21, marks Jones’ debut on independent label Anti-. Neil Young, who Booker T. and the MGs backed on 2002’s “Are You Passionate?,” handles lead guitar duties, and the 10-song set includes covers of “Hey Ya,” Tom Waits’ “Get Behind the Mule” and the Drive-By Truckers’ “Space City.”

“It was a matter of finding people to help me interpret these ideas,” Jones told Billboard. “In the public’s mind, it’s gonna be a new sound for me. In my mind it’s not. I’ve loved rock for a long time. In the ‘60s I wrote a few songs for Otis Redding and Eddie Floyd that were rock songs, but it was too soon for us to be doing that kind of music.”

Jones and the Truckers will play New Orleans’ Jazz Fest in April and will announce other festival appearances in the coming weeks.


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